Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.

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Home » Officer Columns » Diversity in International Musician – A Surprising Realization


Diversity in International Musician – A Surprising Realization

  -  AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

The Black Lives Matter movement has raised awareness and made the need for more diversity central to the ongoing conversation. The International Musician Editorial Board thought it was an opportune time to take an introspective look at diversity within the pages of our official union publication that you receive every month as a member of the AFM. We are blessed with a wonderfully diverse membership, so diversity is integral to who we are and it plays an important role in keeping the AFM relevant and strong.

As the publisher of the International Musician (IM), I feel our magazine needs to be representative of our diverse membership. Race, gender, ethnicity, age, and musical genre are all important considerations. I assumed we were doing a good job with regard to diversity, however, to my knowledge, we had never actually quantified (with real numbers) just how diverse we are within the pages of the IM. To that end, I asked Bentley-Hall, Inc. (the contractor who manages and produces the magazine) to generate numbers that would aid us in better understanding the diversity of our cover stories and our musician profile (Upbeat) articles.

What we learned came as a surprise to me. Prior to my seeing the results, I would have said we were performing well, but this was just my impression. What we now know based on the data (see below) is that there is a lot of room for improvement regarding diversity. The chart was supplied by Bentley-Hall. It reflects both a five-and-a-half year look back and a three-and-a-half year look back. What we learned was revealing and eye opening. Our official journal must be more reflective of our diverse membership. We will certainly renew our efforts to achieve a better balance with regard to race, ethnicity and gender.







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